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FOOD FESTIVALS AROUND THE WORLD
There are music festivals, film festivals, festivals that celebrate moments in time, or eras, and then there are food festivals. A fun way to celebrate culture, identity, and flavor. The food we use to nourish ourselves provides sustenance, creates comfort, and brings communities together. Dinner looks different depending on where you live. The history that's sliced onto everyone's plate is easily forgotten. Attending a food festival is more than an opportunity to feed your face, it's a chance to get to know the flavors you grew up enjoying. Understanding the significance of regional staples, and the various ways to prepare them. Food festivals are great resources to educate, celebrate culture, appreciating history and eating.
The Onion Market
In Bern Switzerland, a festival that celebrates onion and garlic commence on the fourth Monday in November. Zibelemärit is a stinky, savory, and delicious one-day market street fair. The festival begins before the sunrise, at 5 a.m. The smells of onion soup, bread, and cheese fill the streets. Other market vendors stake a spot on the street to sell pottery and various hand-crafted items. Start the morning with some Züpfe, but save some to scoop up the last bits of onion soup in your bowl. Enjoy some other dishes that showcase the savory onion staple. There are onion tarts and sausages. Sugar onions drape over the necks of attendees while they wander the street sampling cheeses, mulled hot wines, and bread. End the afternoon with a confetti war.
Salon De Chocolat
Organic chocolate beans ready to be made into Pacari chocolate. Image by Rodrigo Buendia / AFP / Getty Images
Ecuador is famous for coffee, and chocolate. Much like coffee, or wine where it is grown heavily influences taste, and flavor. Salon De Chocolat is a chocolate festival that takes place in Quito, Ecuador during summer in June. A study reported by BBC suggests Ecuador may be the original home of the cocoa bean. People travel from all over the world in search of great chocolate. Chocolatiers argue that each bean in Ecuador carries a different flavor much like the uniqueness of a snowflake or DNA. The festival combines cocoa and education. There are presentations, competitions, and most importantly tastings.
In the U.S you are likely to run into some variation of Germany's Oktoberfest, you'll find beers, cheeses, fancy costumes in green and yellow. A cheap reason to go day drinking. Choose instead to celebrate authentically in Germany, during the month of September. That's right Oktoberfest isn't even during October, but there are definitely barrels and barrels of beer. Oktoberfest originated in 1810 when princess Therese and Prince Ludwig married. The whole town was invited to celebrate the union and thus began a tradition. Each year in Munich, the fields in which the couple married called the Theresienwiese hold Oktoberfest. The festival begins in the middle of September and ends during the first week of October. There is beer, and music, dancing, and food. Eat, drink, and be merry.
Tokyo Ramen Show
Skip the dehydrated noodles, and sodium packed flavor packets. While ramen restaurants are springing up in big cities that surpass the sad packages at the grocery store, the best place to savor authentic flavor is to go straight to the source. Ramen originated in china with wheat noodles. Over time ramen made its way to Japan. The Tokyo Ramen Show is held each year in Japan. The festival is reportedly free admission which means the smells are also free. The two-part festival features various ramen vendors with exceptional flavor combinations. Attendees purchase tickets to exchange for ramen. Each region is meant to be represented with localized flavors in order to educate and revitalize the community.
Barbados Food and Rum Festival
This food festival just celebrated its 10th year. A relatively new festival that features chefs and mixologists in Barbados, the culinary capital of the Caribbean. The festival occurs over the course of four days, each day focuses on a different topic. Every night the festival is in a different place such as Oistin's fishing village, and day three occupies Bridgetown. Experience chefs playing with textures, and flavors while sipping some of the best rum in the world.
Dragon Boat Festival
Hong Kong has the famous Dragon Boat Festival every year. The festival includes a gigantic boat race. The winner of the race is said to blessed with prosperity. After the race enjoy Zhong,(dumplings) there are over 20 different variations. There are all kinds of dumplings to satisfy any craving you have. Enjoy sweet red bean dumplings or salted egg for a savory flavor. These delectably sticky parcels of deliciousness are a must-try in China.
Isle of Wight Garlic Festival
England honors garlic during the summer with the Isle of Wight Garlic Festival. The festival prides itself on its rich history and family-friendly environment. There are live music and performances plus extraordinary food. Activities for children like rock climbing, chick handling, or face painting. Fun for adults like rock climbing, chick handling, and face painting because you're never too old. The adults also get to enjoy craft beer and all the pungent garlic they want. Don't hesitate to try the garlic vodka in the Ultimate Bloody Mary, or the garlic brewed beer that took trial and error to perfect.
Title Image Photo by: Harrison Haines from Pexels
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